Be Ye Enlarged
2 Corinthians 6:13
Now for a recompense in the same, (I speak as to my children,) be you also enlarged.

The apostle had specially in view the increase of joy. But we may use the exhortation to commend the enlargement of Christian people as respects head and heart and hand.

I. BE ENLARGED IN YOUR THOUGHTS. No doubt there is a dangerous breadth or laxity; but there is also mischief in the opposite direction, in narrowness. Good people are apt to become the slaves of their own phraseology, and to insist on their own traditions of expression and definition as exclusively safe and orthodox. Christian truth appears to be with them quite a narrow ledge of stone shaped to their liking, whereas it is a broad firm rock that does not submit itself to men's measuring lines. Never follow a narrow-minded religious teacher. He is sure to be opinionative and monotonous. And even when he lodges a truth in the mind, he gives it the effect of a prejudice. Be enlarged in the comprehensive and manifold wisdom of the Bible. Dare to give yourself room in the far-reaching thoughts and words of God. Especially seek to be enlarged in your estimate of Jesus Christ. Only by degrees was any sufficient knowledge of him attained by those who "companied with him" on earth. They loved him from the first and often wondered. They tried by questions to peer into his mind, but could not make him out. They were surprisingly slow in their apprehensions, till he opened the Scriptures to them after his resurrection, and the Holy Spirit fell on them after his ascension. And now, though the Holy Spirit is with us, his teaching is not received all at once by disciples, and they need more and more enlargement. It is the mark of a growing Christian that in his view Christ increases; the mark of a great Christian that to him Christ is very great. Augustine, Bernard, Leighton, Rutherford, Owen, Martyn, - were these great Christians? And what had they in common? Large and admiring thoughts of Christ.

II. BE ENLARGED IN YOUR SYMPATHIES. Narrow hearts are even more mischievous and unchristian than narrow heads. It is confessedly difficult for one who may have received little mental culture, or has been early imbued with strong prejudices, to gain breadth of view; but there is no excuse for any one who, while naming the name of Jesus, and professing to know the love of God, retains a peevish and contracted heart. We have said "professes to know the love of God," because, when this love is really "shed abroad by the Holy Spirit," it must tend to expand the affections and sympathies. Argument will not do it. Admonition cannot produce the effect. Love only kindles love, and so imparts a larger kindness and more delicate sensibility. Love cries shame on harshness and envy, spreads brotherly kindness, disposes to forgiveness of wrong and a kindly construction of motives, covers a multitude of sins. Have sympathy with all good objects, though you cannot actually help all. Take the part of right-hearted men. A great Christian is one to whom the Lord has given "largeness" of heart. Paul, Chrysostom, Bengel, Baxter, Whitefield, Chalmers, - were these great Christians? And what had they in common? Great hearts, large generosity of soul, the capacity of loving much, and of enlisting the love and sympathy of others for worthy objects.

"The truly generous is the truly wise,
And he who loves not others lives unblest."

III. BE ENLARGED IN LABOURS AND GIFTS. A grudging hand and indolent temper in the Church go with a narrow spirit; but where mind and heart are enlarged in Christ, the hands will be found ready to every good enterprise and open in giving up to the measure of ability. - F.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Now for a recompence in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) be ye also enlarged.

WEB: Now in return, I speak as to my children, you also be open wide.

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